CPI-M ex-MP injured, clashes over nominations for Bengal rural polls

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Kolkata, April 5 (IANS) A former CPI-M MP was injured as fresh clashes between West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition parties were reported on Thursday over filing of nominations for next month’s panchayat (rural local bodies) polls.

Former Lok Sabha member Ram Chandra Dome was attacked allegedly by Trinamool Congress activists when he was leading a procession of party candidates to file nominations in Nalhati in Birbhum district.

However, the Trinamoool denied the allegations and accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist of trying to disturb peace by taking out rallies where participants carried bows and arrows.

In footage broadcast by television channels, some participants in the procession led by Dome were seen carrying bows and arrows as they marched to the local administrative office to file nominations.

In a tweet, CPIM State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said “a Central committee member and former MP Dr Ramchandra Dome was brutally attacked by TMC hoodlums. Left activists have resisted the attack and have entered the office to submit nomination in Nalhati, Birbhum.”

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He said: “It is no more capturing of polling booths, WB panchayat election starts with capturing the BDO and SDOs’ office. Statewide attack on opposition not to allow filing nomination.”

He called upon the people to “protest and resist” everywhere.

Taking a swipe at Trinamool’s Birbhum district President Anubrata Mondal, Dome — with his head bandaged — said: “Trinamool imported the politics with arms and ammunition at Nalhati and they have planned to expand the Anubrata-model here at Nalhati. The attack was organised by the Trinamool-backed hooligans.”

About the processionists carrying bows and arrows, Dome said: “It is the tradition of adivasis (tribals) here.”

State Minister and Trinamool’s Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said: “In various districts, some people carrying arms and CPI-M flags were trying to disturb peace.”

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said: “There was no need to carry bows and arrorws while going to file nominations. And carrying arms in such political processions is not part of any tradition. We are looking into what kind of legal action can be taken regarding this incident.”

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Elsewhere, there were reports of clash between Trinamool and CPI-M workers at Mayureshwar in Birbhum district after the Marxist candidates went in a group to file their nominations. After the violence, they however returned without filing papers.

Eight Trinamool workers were allegedly injured in a clash with Congress activists at Hariharpara in Murshidabad district. Later, police claimed to have seized weapons from the area Congress office.

Sharma said additional forces were being rushed to the violence-hit districts.

“In some of the affected districts like Bibhum, Purulia, Bankura and South 24 Parganas, we have already sent additional forces to further strengthen security. We will send more forces. We are doing an assessment,” said Sharma.

The BJP state unit has already approached the Supreme Court for intervention for the protection of its candidates so that they could file nomination for the three-phase polls on May 1, 3 and 5.

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On the other hand, state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury has moved the Calcutta High Court to seek deployment of central forces for the polls.

A Trinamool delegation comprising senior Ministers and party functionaries called on Governor K.N. Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan here and State Election Commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh at his office and accused the opposition parties of indulging in falsehood and hatching conspiracies to defame the state.

“In many areas, the opposition parties have filed more nominations that the Trinamool. The BJP itself has fielded more candidates than us in several areas,” said Trinamool Secretary General and senior Minister Partha Chatterjee.



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